The Weather Wire

 

January 2005                                                                                                              Volume 13 Number 01

 

Contents

 

∑   Tropical Sunshine

 

∑   Drought Monitor

 

∑   December

    Summary

 

∑   December Stats

 

∑   January Preview

 

∑   Sunrise/Sunset

 

∑   Snow Totals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2004

 

Avg High 48.3

Avg Low 21.4

Snow - 2.6"

Season Snow - 14.0"

Precipitation - 0.04"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January

Avg High 43.2

Avg Low 15.2

Avg Snow - 7.7"

Avg Precip - 0.51"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skyview Weather 

2350 N Rocky View Rd

Castle Rock, CO 80108

 

Phone: (303) 688-9175

Fax: (303) 660-0548

 

E-mail:    

tim@skyview-wx.com

 

Weíre on the Web!

http://www.skyview-wx.com/

 

Copyright 2005

Skyview Weather

Tropical Sunshine on a Snowy Cold Day

While the temperature hovers around the zero degree mark and snow falls out side perhaps this would be a good time to visit the tropics and some of the associated weather you would find there.  On days like this in Colorado it is nice sometime to imagine that tropical island sitting on the beach under that palm tree.

Even in the dead of winter here the temperature in the Caribbean is almost always in the low to mid 80s.  Lows at night will drop into the upper 60s to lower 70s.  Even in the middle of summer the temperatures here in Colorado drop lower than that!  One main reason for the small spread in the temperatures in the tropical Caribbean is the temperatures of the ocean waters.  During the winter months the water temperature is usually in the upper 70s to lower 80ís.  For the summer months the water warms to the low to mid 80s.  So, really not a big change in those waters.  As a result, the large amount of water verses the small land mass of the islands, moderates the temperatures on those islands year round.  So while a lot of people know that during the winter months itís quite comfortable in the tropics they would be wrong to assume that is sweltering hot in the summer.  It is just not the case as the water keeps it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. 

The main reason for this is the way water releases and stores heat verses how land masses store and loose heat.  Land will absorb heat quickly, but also releases this heat just as quickly after the sun goes down and radiates this heat back into space.  Water on the other hand absorbs the suns heat only very slowly and the reverse is also true that it releases that heat slowly.  So a large body of water acts like a heat sink retaining that heat or energy of the sun for a longer period of time that land masses.  One of the reasons we here in Colorado see such big swings in our temperatures not only from season to season but even from week to week is that we are land locked in the center of a large land mass with no large body of water to modify these large swings.

Another reason the islands in the Caribbean enjoy a fairly constant temperature year round is the nearly constant breezes that blow from east to west across the Caribbean.  For us here in the US our winds flow for the most part west to east. It is just the opposite when you drop south of the tropic of Cancer.  The tropic of Cancer is an imaginary line that runs around the globe at 23 Ĺ degrees north of the equator. These are known as the trade winds.  They were named that by the first European explorers to the region.  The sailors would sail south from Europe catch the easterly trade winds to the Caribbean.  On their return they would sail north from the Caribbean catch the westerly winds that flow from North America, west to east, for their return trip to Europe.

While they are days when it is quite calm in the Caribbean, more likely that not, the easterly trades winds bring cooling breezes during the summer months and milder breezes during the cooler winter months.  All, because of the difference in the way land and water store and release the sunís heat.

So next time you are relaxing under that palm tree on some tropical island enjoying that refreshing breeze off the ocean you will have a better idea of why that is!

Online Forecasts Available Again

Skyview Weather is happy to announce that online forecasts and snow reports are again available on our sister www.anythingweather.com website.  Forecasts and snow reports are password protected, but an email to Tim@Skyview-WX.com requesting your forecast and/or snow reports be available online will result in an account being setup for you.  As always, forecasts and snow reports are for client use only, but with the online access, forecasts and snow reports are just a click away from any computer with an internet connection!

Drought Update

Drought conditions continue to improve across most of Colorado, with normal to slightly above average precipitation  during December, 2004.

The map below shows forecasted temperature deviances for the January 2005 time period. As can be seen,   normal temperatures are expected for Colorado for January.

The map below shows forecasted precipitation deviances for January 2005.  Normal or near normal precipitation is expected for much of Colorado for January 2005.  Above normal precipitation is possible for the southern third of Colorado for January 2005.

As can be seen in the below map, drought conditions are expected to continue to improve across much of Colorado through March 2005.

December Summary

One day of measurable moisture along with 4 days with trace amounts culminated in a total of 0.04 inch of precipitation tying December 2004 with December 1890 as the 5th driest Denver December.  Again we must remind you that considerably more moisture and snow fell for the Denver metro area and the Front Range in general.  Again it just shows that DIA (where the NWS takes its readings) is not very representative of the weather along the Front Range.  So bare that in mind as you read the rest of this summary.

For the year 2004 finished with 14.67 inches which is 1.14 inches below the normal of 15.81 inches.  2.6 inches of snowfall was tallied by the COOP observers at the form Stapleton Airport.  For the month snowfall was 6.1 inches below the 8.7 inch normal.  For the season, we have 14.0 inches recorded at Stapleton which is 11.6 inches below the norm.

Temperatures during December 2004were fairly mild, ranging from 67 degrees on the 11th down to -9 on the 23rd.  The monthly average temperature of 34.9 degrees was 4.7 degrees above normal.  Except for the 11th where the low only dropped to 40 degrees all the rest of the morning lows were at or below freezing.  There were no temperature records set or tied during December 2004.

December Stats

TEMPERATURE (IN DEGREES F)

 

 

 

 

 

 

AVERAGE MAX

48.3

NORMAL

44.1

DEPARTURE

4.2

AVERAGE MIN

21.4

NORMAL

16.4

DEPARTURE

5.0

MONTHLY MEAN

34.9

NORMAL

30.3

DEPARTURE

4.6

HIGHEST

67 on the 11th

LOWEST

-9 on the 23rd

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAYS WITH MAX 90 OR ABOVE

0

NORMAL

0

DAYS WITH MAX 32 OR BELOW

2

NORMAL

5

DAYS WITH MIN 32 OR BELOW

30

NORMAL

29

DAYS WITH MIN ZERO OR BELOW

1

NORMAL

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEMPERATURE RECORDS

 

None  

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEATING DEGREE DAYS

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONTHLY TOTAL

926

NORMAL

1078

DEPARTURE

-152

SEASONAL TOTAL

2367

NORMAL

2747

DEPARTURE

-380

 

 

 

 

 

 

COOLING DEGREE DAYS

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONTHLY TOTAL

0

NORMAL

0

DEPARTURE

0

YEARLY TOTAL

495

NORMAL

696

DEPARTURE

-201

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRECIPITATION (IN INCHES)

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONTHLY TOTAL

0.04

NORMAL

0.63

DEPARTURE

-0.59

YEARLY TOTAL

14.67

NORMAL

15.81

DEPARTURE

-1.14

GREATEST IN 24 HOURS

0.04 on the 15th

DAYS WITH MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION

4

 

 

 

 

SNOWFALL (IN INCHES)

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONTHLY TOTAL

2.6

NORMAL

8.7

DEPARTURE

-6.1

SEASONAL TOTAL

14.0

NORMAL

25.6

DEPARTURE

-11.6

GREATEST IN 24 HOURS

1.1 on the 15th

GREATEST DEPTH

2 on 1st through 4th

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIND (IN MILES PER HOUR)

 

 

 

 

 

 

AVERAGE SPEED

10.1

       

PEAK WIND GUST

47mph from West on the 20th

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS WEATHER

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH THUNDERSTORMS

0

NORMAL

0

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH HEAVY FOG

5

NORMAL

1

NUMBER OF DAYS WITH HAIL

0

 

 

PERCENT OF SUNSHINE

87

NORMAL

67

 

 

 

January Preview

January is the coldest month of the year in Denver.  The record low temperature for each day of the month is at least 10 degrees below zero.  In addition, it is not uncommon for the mercury to drop below the freezing mark every night of the month.  The coldest temperature ever recorded in Denver was 29 degrees below zero and that occurred on January 9th 1875.

Even though January is the coldest month of the year, there is usually not an abundance of inclement weather.  It is the second driest month of the year in terms of total precipitation and only the 5th snowiest month.  An exception to this was in 1992 when 24.3 inches of snow fell during the month, making it the snowiest January in Denver history.  It has the least amount of thunderstorm activity, registering less than 1 per month.

The weather during January is quite changeable which, quite frankly, is a characteristic of any month in Denver.  Cold blasts of arctic air usually bring several light snows and sub-zero temperatures to the area.  On the other hand, Chinook winds that warm temperatures into the 50s and 60s are also common.  These winds may blow as high as 100 miles per hour in and near the foothills.  Chinooks are far more common than blizzards during January.

The latest 30 day outlooks suggest both temperatures and precipitation will be above normal.

DENVER'S JANUARY CLIMATOLOGICALLY NORMAL

(NORMAL PERIOD 1971-2000)

 

 

TEMPERATURE

 

 

 

AVERAGE HIGH

43.2

AVERAGE LOW

15.2

MONTHLY MEAN

29.2

DAYS WITH HIGH 90 OR ABOVE

0

DAYS WITH HIGH 32 OR BELOW

7

DAYS WITH LOW 32 OR BELOW

30

DAYS WITH LOWS ZERO OR BELOW

4

 

 

PRECIPITATION

 

 

 

MONTHLY MEAN

0.51"

DAYS WITH MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION

6

AVERAGE SNOWFALL IN INCHES

7.7"

DAYS WITH 1.0 INCH OF SNOW OR MORE

2

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS JANUARY AVERAGES

 

 

 

HEATING DEGREE DAYS

1111

COOLING DEGREE DAYS

0

WIND SPEED (MPH)

8.6

WIND DIRECTION

SOUTH

DAYS WITH THUNDERSTORMS

0

DAYS WITH DENSE FOG

1

PERCENT OF SUNSHINE POSSIBLE

71

 

 

JANUARY EXTREMES

 

 

 

RECORD HIGH

76 DEGREES ON 1/27/1888

RECORD LOW

-29 DEGREES ON 1/9/1875

WARMEST

40.3 DEGREES IN 1986

COLDEST

16.9 DEGREES IN 1930

WETTEST

2.35 INCHES IN 1883

DRIEST

0.01 1933

SNOWIEST

24.3 IN 1992

LEAST SNOWIEST

TR IN 1934

Sunrise/Sunset (Denver area)

     Date

Sunrise

Sunset

     January 1  

07:20

16:45

     January 5

07:21

16:49

     January 10

07:20

16:54

     January 15

07:19

16:59

     January 20

07:17

17:03

     January 25

07:13

17:09

     January 30

07:10

17:15

 Snowfall

December 2004

City

12/15 to 12/16

12/21 to 12/22

12/22 to 12/23

       

Seasonal Totals

Aurora (Central)

1.3 0.8 1.8         15.9

Castle Rock 4 NE

2.3 2.8 1.5         21.1

Colorado Springs

TR 2.8 1.5         10.9
Denver Stapleton 1.1 0.2 0.8         14.0

Denver Downtown

0.9 0.5 1.3         15.8

Golden

0.2 7.0 2.7         27.8

Highlands Ranch

2.0 4.0 2.0         25.8

Lakewood

0.3 2.3 1.5         19.1

Littleton

0.5 4.0 1.5         21.5

Louisville

0.2 3.6 2.8         26.3

Parker

1.5 4.0 1.5         20.5

Sedalia

3.0 2.5 2.2         24.6

Thornton

1.5 1.2 2.0         19.2

Westminster

0.3 1.8 1.5         17.3

Wheatridge

0.4 2.6 1.1         20.3